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Monday Dec 7, 2020   
In last weeks special report, 'CAISO Value Stacking 101', we delved into the delicate balancing act that a grid scale battery needs to perform in order to maximize its revenue while providing multiple services with unique requirements. In order to move energy from low priced hours to high priced hours (energy arbitrage), you need to utilize both your battery’s inverter capacity (MW) and its storage capacity (MWh) to make that happen. However, both of these assets are also required in order to provide regulation services. For example, when a battery clears the energy market at its bid price, the range of deviations it can make from its awarded energy activity will change. As the battery charges, it will be able to provide more upwards regulation (RegUp) because it can stop charging ... » read more
Friday Dec 4, 2020   
EGPS has been developing and refining a model for solar plus storage assets for the last few years. We’ve developed an elegant model that uses a single day-ahead, hourly price curve to value the solar and provide a baseline for the storage asset. Then the storage asset receives additional value stemming from the real-time price arbitrage and ancillary service sales. The day-ahead hourly prices form the key nexus between solar and storage assets plus the day-ahead prices represent important storage hedging opportunities in the wholesale markets. In this blog, we focus on the important differences between day ahead and real time prices, where as our featured special report for the week will detail the foundations of this modeling approach.  To access the special report, you ... » read more
Thursday Dec 3, 2020   
Here in Portland, one of the traditions for the holiday season is the Technical Management Team (TMT) year-end review.  Here the individuals in the inter-agency group responsible for making recommendations for dam and reservoir operations in the Columbia River Basin hydro system come together to discuss the past year’s operations, evaluate what went well (and what did not), and look forward to the new water year.  This year’s meeting took place yesterday, and provided plenty of things to think about and discuss over the coming weeks and months.  Here are a few highlights. One of the main topics up for discussion at this year’s meeting was spill.  For the 2020 water year several changes were made to spill operations by hydro projects in the PNW ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 2, 2020   
If you have ever been to Buckingham Palace in England and stayed around long enough you would have seen what is known as the 'changing of the guards' .  It is a ceremony where soldiers are guarding the residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.  At certain times throughout the day, the observation of the current guards being replaced by a new shift is a tradition like no other.   Figure 1 | Changing of the Guard In the energy sector, the 'changing of the guard' can take on several different means depending on the commodity itself.  In today's blog we will look at how the weather fits with this slogan along with wind generation in ERCOT.  Starting with the weather, the seasonality around the summer and winter strip ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 1, 2020   
Using broad strokes the climate over North America has been above normal throughout the entire year with only brief glimpses of what it is like to have a below normal event. We are seeing a minor instance this week. Since the Thanksgiving holiday average temperatures have dropped by as much as 20 degrees throughout most of the Southeast, Gulf and Midwest. This is not polar in origin so the departures are only slightly below climatology. It is the first real taste of winter weather. Snow has also accumulated across the Ohio Valley.   Figure 1 | WSI Temperature Map for December 1 Driven by the cool weather the ResCom demand across the country is moving up from 27 to 38 BCF per day. That is a very large increase but still keeps the Lower 48 heating load below ... » read more
Monday Nov 30, 2020   
While reviewing ancillary service prices in California in connection with some battery valuation work this week, I stumbled upon something odd. Here is a scatterplot of the clearing price for regulation up and regulation down ancillary services in CAISO, with each dot representing a single hour: Figure 1 – CAISO system-wide regulation clearing prices, 2019, hourly There may be something interesting to say about the relationship between the RegUp and RegDown prices, but what caught my eye is the unusual distribution of data points. There are no grid lines in the chart above, the vertical and horizontal lines are just formed by the density of observations along those pricing points. Scatter plots tend to form clouds, not grids. Since I just finished ordering supplies for a garden ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 25, 2020   
We continue to closely study battery math in various markets. In recent months EnergyGPS has done considerable amount of work on short-duration batteries in ERCOT and various flavors of batteries in CAISO including 2-hour to 8-hour duration batteries configured as stand-alone, paired with solar with AC coupling, and paired with solar with DC coupling. Each battery duration and configuration presents a wide range of valuation and contracting challenges. As anyone who has spent time looking at energy storage projects, the opportunity available in the real-time markets typically outstrips what is available in the day ahead markets. Let’s step through this a bit using data from the CAISO NP15. We selected this market because it has experienced fewer, game-changing price spikes than ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 24, 2020   
The record warm November has hit no region harder than the Marcellus. After ending the injection season at nearly full the DTI cavern had no ability to manage the loose balancing conditions from the loss of heating load. As a result the cash markets found themselves in two distinct incidences where they had to price off production in order to balance. Dominion South cash prices fell from $1.87 at the end of October down to 26 cents for the first week of the month. Production receipts fell by 2 BCF per day. But they are not out of the woods yet. Demnad has recovered from that event but the cavern complex remains at all time high inventory of 290 BCF.  Figure 1 | DTI Storage for 2016 - 2020 As a result the December basis markets have been crushed over the past three weeks. December ... » read more
Monday Nov 23, 2020   
Recent changes in the jet stream has allowed more precipitation to move into the West Coast. In the past week a number of storms have battered the Cascades causing an early accumulation of snowpack. It is way too early to call an above normal snow year for the Pacific Northwest. We will reserve judgement for January. But the abundance has caused an early jump in the hydro output for the Mid Columbia market. Warm conditions are keeping run off high. Along with seasonal reservoir drafting it has swelled the river flows.    Figure 1 | PNW Snow Fall Accumulations for 2019 - 2021 Since the beginning of the month the average daily hydro output has increased from 11.5 to 14.5 GWa. This is now 2 GWa higher than what was seen in 2019 and 2018. Up until this week, Seattle and ... » read more
Friday Nov 20, 2020   
This week CAISO a second--"Phase 2"--round of rule changes to accommodate “hybrid resources”—resources that combine storage with a variable renewable energy (VER) resource (typically, solar) at a common location.  Like a cook scrambling to prepare a large meal for many guests, CAISO is gearing up to accommodate a wave of hybrid resources expected to interconnect over the next 3 years.  Specifically, CAISO is expecting more than 1,500 megawatts (MW) of storage capacity expected to connect to the grid by the end of next year—much of that will be co-located with solar.  Combined storage + solar capacity is a large part of the 3 GW capacity procurement target the CPUC adopted for IOUs and CCAS by summer of 2023. Hybrid resources a natural ... » read more
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